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  • Ocean Defender Vessel

Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures Australia

Hervey Bay Nature Cruise

  • Available from: December 01 2024 - May 31 2025

From: $49 USD

Duration: 2 hours

Type: Groups, Private Charter, Shared.

Departs: 7am & 9:30am from Urangan Harbour

Explore the best of the Great Sandy Marine Park in the spectacular morning light on the Hervey Bay Nature Cruise, led by knowledgeable Marine Naturalists.

  • The region's remarkable mix of picturesque bays, seagrass meadows, salt marshes, mangroves and sandy beaches provide habitat to abundant shorebirds, seabirds, stingrays, turtles, dugongs and dolphins.

  • Cruise the Great Sandy Strait, nestled between the largest sand island in the world – K'gari (meaning paradise in the local Butchulla language) – and the Fraser Coast on the Australian mainland.

  • All proceeds from the nature cruise support whale and dolphin research, marine education for children, and ocean conservation programs in Australia and around the world.

About Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures Australia (PWFEAA)

Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures Australia (PWFEAA) was founded in 2011 as a fully owned subsidiary of Pacific Whale Foundation, an international NGO dedicated to protecting our ocean and marine life since 1980. With a mission to protect the oceans through science and advocacy and to inspire environmental stewardship, the social enterprise company runs eco tours and a merchandise shop to raise funding for education, conservation and research projects, with regular involvement in school visits, virtual classrooms, community forums and educational conferences.

Price per adult. Black-out dates may apply. Pricing is subject to availability and all prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Currency fluctuations may affect prices as quotes based on AUD. Prices are current at time of posting (1/4/24) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details*


Tour day-by-day

  • Hervey Bay Nature Cruise

    7am & 9:30am: Custom-designed for wildlife watching, the 'Ocean Defender' is a 12-metre, smooth-riding rigid inflatable boat. This comfortable vessel features forward facing and covered seating at water level, with panoramic 360 degree views - perfect for photography and naturalist groups.

    The Great Sandy Marine Park is home to a variety of marine life - including the vulnerable Australian Humpback Dolphin and Dugong, as well as other dolphin species, rays, sharks, sea snakes and turtles - as well as a broad array of bird species. Migrating waders include snipes, sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstones and curlews, and local populations include Osprey, Brahminy Kites, White-bellied Sea Eagles, terns, gannets and gulls.

    Learn about the natural environment, fauna and landscapes of the islands, the history of the area, the conservation programs underway, and Foundation's research conducted in the Great Sandy Straits since 1984. Be a citizen scientist and help our marine biologists collect data to contribute to our ongoing whale and dolphin research.

    In addition to nature-enthusiasts, this cruise is designed to accommodate special interest groups including bird watchers, photographers and history-enthusiasts.

  • Tour details

    Pricing: Adult $75 AUD, Children (14 & Under) $50 AUD
    Group Size: Maximum of 38 passengers
    Departure Point: Check in at Shop 1, Great Sandy Straits Marina, Urangan Hervey Bay.
    Departure Times & Duration: 7am & 9:30am - 2 hour duration

    How you'll be making a positive impact

    We have aligned our sustainability vision with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    E-WEB-Goal-14Whale & Dolphin Tracker Program

    Photo identification programs have been the backbone of marine mammal studies for decades, allowing researchers to identify individuals by comparing photos in existing catalogues. Photo-identification serves as a non-invasive way to gather information on the life histories of whales, including approximate age and migratory movements.

    One of the key questions Pacific Whale Foundation is trying to answer is how long whales live for, as researchers do not have a definitive answer on this yet. The team is still tracking some of the whales that were photographed in the 1980s.

    Guests and the general public can contribute to research as a citizen- scientist by donating Humpback Whale fluke photos. These can be uploaded while on board or after the tour, via the following website link or via their Whale & Dolphin Tracker app. These observations are also integrated with into the global catalogue Happy Whale citizen science program.

    E-WEB-Goal-14Tracking Marine Debris across Hervey Bay

    Marine debris is defined as any human-created waste that has entered the marine environment. Concerningly, most of the debris from land-based sources is composed of plastics and other materials that resist natural degradation.

    A recent study of marine life found that flexible plastics are responsible for the largest proportion of marine life deaths. In the case of whales, once ingested, the plastics can accumulate in the stomach, with the mass eventually becoming so big that it obstructs the bowels and the whale starves to death. Sometimes, whales become entangled in fishing nets and rope and die that way.

    Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures Australia, has been running coastal marine clean-ups for many years in Hervey Bay, but since 2019 the aim has been to also record the types and quantity of debris found on the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) database run by Tangaroa Blue. This database was created to enable volunteers and organisations who were running beach clean-up events to also collect data on what they were finding with a consistent methodology so it could be collated into a standardised national database. This is used to better inform legislators about future changes needed in managing this worldwide problem.

    Since 2004, more than 7 million pieces of marine debris have been recorded into the AMDI database, creating a comprehensive overview of what amounts and types of marine debris are impacting beaches around the country, along with suggestions on how to reduce it. Many Pacific Whale Foundation guests are inspired to further their efforts through their own beach and coastal clean-ups, and are encouraged to log any debris collected into the AMDI database through Tangaroa Blue.

    E-WEB-Goal-04Be Whale Aware and Be Dolphin Wise

    Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures Australia has developed a series of best practice factsheets for ocean users and boaters who wish to view whales and dolphins. The “Be Whale Aware” and “Be Dolphin Wise” guidelines are designed to educate seagoers that their presence can affect marine wildlife and habitat.

    Marine mammals often engage in important social and behavioural activities that may not be apparent to a casual viewer. These factsheets reinforce that approaching marine animals too closely or too quickly in a vessel often disrupts these behaviours and causes unnecessary stress.

    E-WEB-Goal-04Dedicated School & Education Program

    Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures Australia use profits from cruises to provide marine education for children, and support ocean conservation programs in Australia and around the world. 

    In addition to supporting school visits or onboard excursions, the organisation has started Hervey Bay Virtual Whalewatch; a simulated whale watching experience complete with sights and sounds, expert narration, and interactive educational activities. With a duration of one hour, this program and can be utilised for whole-class instruction or individual student participation.

    E-WEB-Goal-12Reuse, Refuse and Rethink Campaign

    Pacific Whale Foundation’s RETHINK campaign champions alternatives to everyday single-use plastics in an effort to save marine life. Plastic never truly biodegrades, breaking up into smaller pieces that remain in our environment. As plastic breaks into tiny pieces, it’s ingested by marine organisms and permeates the food chain.

    Plastic polymers include noxious chemical additives and contaminants, with evidence that toxins disrupt endocrine systems, even at low concentrations for marine life.

    It has been estimated that up to 1 billion marine animals die each year from plastic pollution. Pacific Whale Foundation run a Plastic Pollution Solutions program for schools, beach cleanups, marine debris and prevention research and have produced a series of factsheets and tips for download, to Reduce and Rethink single plastics usage.

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